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26 November 2015Big Pharma

English High Court: Pfizer’s attempt to amend Lyrica patent an ‘abuse’ of court procedures

The English High Court has rejected Pfizer’s attempt to amend a patent that was ruled partially invalid in its long-standing dispute with ge nerics companies Mylan and Allergan.

Yesterday, November 25, Mr Justice Arnold ruled that Pfizer’s attempt to amend claim 3 of its Lyrica (pregabalin) patent covering the treatment of neuropathic pain was an “ abuse of the process of the court”.

Separately, Arnold allowed the deletion of claims 1, 4, 6, 13 and 14 of the patent.

In September, he ruled that the claims were invalid on the grounds of insufficiency, but rejected Mylan and Allergan’s claim that the patent was obvious.

The disputed patent is called “Isobuytlgaba and its derivatives for the treatment of pain” and covers the second medical use to treat neuropathic pain. It is set to expire in 2017.

The patent is owned by Warner-Lambert, a subsidiary of Pfizer.

Lyrica is also used to treat epilepsy and general anxiety disorder.

“I consider that the application to amend claim 3 is an abuse of process because it could and should have been made prior to trial. Warner-Lambert not only had ample opportunity to make a conditional application to amend prior to trial, but also ought to have appreciated, for the reasons explained above, that it needed to do so if it wished to contend a claim limited in that manner would be independently valid.

“Accordingly, in my view, the amendment application amounts to unjust harassment of Mylan and Actavis [which is now called Allergan],” he added.

A spokesperson for Pfizer told LSIPR that it plans to appeal against the decision.

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